Heartwood sent each of the 2021 Green Party of Canada Federal Council candidates a questionnaire asking them to introduce themselves, share their vision for the Party, and their thoughts on a potential imminent 2021 election and the ongoing internal Party conflict.
Here is Fund Representative candidate Colin Griffiths's response.
- What would you like the members to know about you?
- What is your history of involvement in Canadian Green Parties?
- Why are you running for Federal Council, and why this position?
- Why should the members vote for you?
I’m a hard-working loyal party member, deeply concerned about the health of the party and of our planet. Time is critical, and I promise to use my time on federal council productively and will not waste your confidence in me. We are all volunteers on federal council. The tasks are not easy, but I mean to gain satisfaction from my term through realization of our goals.
I’ve been a GPC member for close to 20 years in both Ontario and Quebec. I have founded or resurrected EDAs in Quebec and worked on several federal election campaigns. I worked on Elizabeth’s leadership campaign in 2006 and on Dimitri’s leadership campaign in 2020. I have been on several party committees, including election fairness. In 2015 I ran as a candidate in Pontiac, suffering from the “anyone but Harper” mood of that election.
I believe the party needs sane direction, logistically and financially, direction that I can provide. I have been an entrepreneur, the treasurer of several EDAs, official agent in several campaigns, and member of the board of several non-profit organizations. This experience has equipped me with substantial knowledge of financial reporting, the workings of Revenue Canada, Revenue Quebec and Elections Canada, to be able to contribute productively to the financial operation of the party as Fund Rep.
I bring a seasoned but fresh view to council deliberations. I have followed them for years and am familiar with the processes and products of our governing bodies.
- What is your vision for the Green Party of Canada?
- What are your values around inclusion, diversity and equity?
- What are your values around collaboration, finding common ground, and working through conflict as a hopeful member of FC?
I want the GPC to be a strong values based contributor to the politics of Canada. No other party expressly declares its values the way we do. We have to abide and live by them. The Green Party should be the prime promoter of a sane approach to climate change, recognizing the merits of our current system, but nevertheless working to become a fully sustainable economy, showing deep respect for our environment and peoples.
Every citizen should have a fair chance and should be encouraged to join public life. We need people who can communicate well, who understand their role, who can react well in public with intelligence, civility and decorum. If they then are the best in their field, their race, colour, creed or gender is irrelevant.
The essence of progress in almost all fields is the ability to work with others. Our federal council needs to engage with each of us in a collaborative, collegial manner. I will join that effort. One of my goals will be to engage in humility and humour with all federal councillors.
The (possible) 2021 Federal Election
- What are your key priorities for the 2021 National Federal Election?
- What are your key priorities for repairing the culture and operations of the Green Party of Canada in 2021?
- Given that the Party has decided not to hire a National Campaign Manager for the next election if elected, would you want to revisit that decision? If you think that decision was correct, what changes to the role of the Fund, ED, and Council compared to past elections would not having a campaign manager necessitate?
My priority for the next election is to present a green plan that works for all Canadians, a plan that fearlessly presents the challenges of global warming, and offers solutions to meet our commitments. There is no second chance to get the job done.
To a large extent, the party has become very opaque to its members. The use of excessive in camera sessions of federal council for example, with the absence of agendas for observers makes member involvement very difficult. We need a public org chart that clearly shows the staff, fund, federal council and member relationships and communications paths. We need to significantly revamp our web site so that all the promised documentation is readily available to our members. We will do this through compromise, collaboration, and team work. I look forward to audited statements of our performance as we proceed through our mandate.
Yes, I would support revisiting the decision not to hire a national campaign manager. I don’t know the reason for not having one, but at the national level we need cross riding coordination. If the motion to be debated this summer garners sufficient support, we will need a very careful analysis of how to cooperate with the NDP. This would need a national campaign manager.
Current GPC Conflict
- Given the ongoing and public rifts in the GPC and the high number of vacant and appointed positions, do you believe that the current Council should delay significant decisions until the candidates in this Council election are seated on the board?
I’d far rather the Green Party be known as a party that stands by its values than as one whose leader ignores them. This is the essence of the conflict. If our leader were to apologize, make amends with our caucus, I’d be happy to see a vote for confidence. If the party as a whole votes confidence, then I will abide by that decision, be a loyal party member, and join in deliberations on federal council with a positive and constructive approach to the next election.
For more discussion of all these issues, please join me in my weekly webinars through July to August 8th, Saturday and Sunday at 3p.m. EDT. Details on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/4036267856451724
Do you like this page?